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  1. Updates for Monday 27 February

Live Reporting

By John Hudson and Alex Regan

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Thank you for joining us again today.

We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow with all Berkshire's latest news, travel, sport and weather. 

Stay in touch via our  Facebook  and  Twitter  pages. 

Slough: What is it like to live in 'immigration town'?

Richard Bilton

BBC Panorama

Walk down Slough's High Street, and you can see how the town has made its money: this place is built on immigration.

Since the 1920s, people have come here from elsewhere in the UK and around the world to look for work.

The town's enormous trading estate welcomed them all. And everyone has benefited.

Slough sign
Getty Images

Today, Slough has one of the most successful economies in the country.

Unemployment is just 1.4%, and the average wage is £558 per week. But Slough is not quite the model of integration it seems.

Continue reading  here .

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J12 for A4 and J13 for A34 Chieveley.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J12, A4 (Theale) and J13, A34 (Chieveley), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Sore everything...

Drivers 'still unaware' of mobile phone punishments

Two-fifths of drivers are unaware they face tougher punishments for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, a study has found.

Some 39% do not know that penalty points and fines will double to six and £200 respectively from Wednesday, according to a Co-op Insurance poll of 1,500 UK drivers conducted last week.

The statistics have been revealed four months after lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed for 10 years for ploughing into a stationary car on the A34 near Newbury while distracted by his phone.

The crash killed Tracy Houghton, 45,  her sons Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith, also 11. 

Dash cam footage shows Tomasz Kroker at the wheel of his lorry before the crash on the A34 in Berkshire

MP suggests work permit scheme ahead of Lords Brexit debate

Wokingham MP John Redwood has said the UK should adopt a work permit scheme for migrants. 

Speaking ahead of a House of Lords debate on the Brexit bill, the former secretary of state for Wales told the BBC that the system should "not try to block talent" or those with "good qualifications". 

"The problem is too many people are coming in to pick up very low paid jobs, keeping our wages down" he said. 

View more on twitter

And in a series of tweets, the Conservative backbencher said: "The EU should guarantee the rights of UK citizens on the continent. They are meant to be a bastion of liberal decent values."

He added that Brexit "means no European court, no budget contributions and no open borders we do not control". 

Keep up with live updates from the Lords' debate here. 

Laser attacks on increase at Heathrow

Laser attacks on aircraft using Heathrow rose by a quarter last year, new figures show. 

Pilots taking off or landing at the airport suffered 151 incidents in 2016. 

This is up from 121 during the previous year and was more than any other UK airport, according to aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority.


Former RAF and British Airways pilot Steve Landells warned that shining a laser at an aircraft is "incredibly dangerous". 

Mr Landells, flight safety specialist at pilots' association Balpa, said: "The power of these devices is increasing and we're concerned that, if left to escalate without significant intervention, we could see a serious incident happen in the near future."   

Icy weather forecast sees gritters return

Reading Buses goes contactless

Reading Buses are accepting contactless payments from today. 

It is the first independent bus operator in the country to go fully contactless. 

View more on twitter

Transport minister Andrew Jones said the system would be more convenient for customers and cut queues. 

“The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Reading’s bus network is great news for the many passengers," he said. 

Police launch new recruitment drive

The first major recruitment drive since Thames Valley Police lowered its academic entry requirements launches today. 

Previously, two A-Levels at grade A to C or equivalent were required, but now two A-Levels grades A to E or equivalent will be sufficient. 


Slough immigration documentary on tonight

Panorama visits Slough tonight to explore how its community has been changed by immigration

Airing at 20:30 on BBC One, Richard Bilton revisits the town 10 years after reporting on how it was struggling to cope with the changing face of its population. 

Heathrow border control

Now he's back. He finds a town with a booming economy and new families arriving every day. 

However, now-white British people are abandoning Slough, and some foreign workers say the dream is over.

Weather latest: Wet afternoon ahead

After a mild start it is set to turn colder this afternoon with occasional heavy showers. 

Temperatures will drop to around 3C overnight and there is a chance that frost will develop by dawn. 

Berkshire weather

Homeless drop-in centre launched

A new drop-in centre for homeless and vulnerable people in Wokingham has opened today. 

It was launched by Wokingham In Need alongside the Salvation Army, which has provided the premises at the Citadel in the town.

The scheme will host workshops to help people find work and provide medical care. 

Homeless person on bench

Spring to officially start on Wednesday

Man faces drug dealing charges

A man has been charged with four drug dealing offences in Crowthorne. 

Phillip Ferris, of Hinton Close, was charged with possession with intent to supply a class A drug - MDMA - on Saturday. 

The 24-year-old was also charged with a further three counts of possessing and supplying cannabis, a class B drug. 

He has been released on police bail and is scheduled to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. 

Recovery underway on M4 westbound

One lane closed and very slow traffic due to accident involving one lorry and a car on the M4 westbound between J14 for Hungerford and J15 for Swindon East.

View more on twitter

Town centre route partially closed for 15 weeks

Motorists driving through Wokingham town centre are being warned to expect disruption after a key road was partially closed for 15 weeks today. 

Peach Street will be reduced to one lane until early June so a 1960s tower block can be demolished. 

It is part of an ongoing regeneration project in the area. 

Peach Street

A34 questions sought

Known for long tailbacks, there have also been a number of high profile fatal crashes on the A34 between Winchester to Bicester recently.  

BBC South would like to know what questions you have about the 62-mile route.

Click  here  to find out more. 

A34 near Winchester
Ian S

Reading slip to 5th after Brighton defeat

BBC Sport

Reading slipped to fifth in the Championship at the weekend after losing 3-0 to Brighton

After a quiet opening, the Seagull's Sam Baldock hit the post with a curling 20-yard shot before latching onto Bruno's lofted pass to fire past Ali Al-Habsi.

Championship table
BBC Sport

Dale Stephens set up Jamie Murphy to chip in the second and French winger Anthony Knockaert slid in a late third.

Reading have taken only five points from their five games in February and Leeds' win over Sheffield Wednesday in Saturday's early kick-off meant the Royals dropped to fifth position, 10 points from the top two.

Severe congestion: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe congestion, after J15 for M4 affecting J14 for A3113.

M25 Berkshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J15 M4. Congestion to J14, A3113 (Heathrow).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Power out in RG10

Sue Kinnear

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

A secondary school in Berkshire has not opened today because of a power cut.

The Piggott Senior school in Wargrave is one of an undisclosed number of properties in the RG10 postcode area left without electricity.

Scottish and Southern say engineers now expect the power supply to be back on at midday.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J14 for A338 and J15 for A346 Marlborough Road.

M4 Berkshire - Delays, one lane closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J14, A338 (Hungerford) and J15, A346 (Swindon East), because of an accident involving one lorry and a car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Girlfriend's anguish over death crash

Earlier we told you how Lewis Stratford met Meg Williamson ahead of his sentencing for the crash he caused during an argument with his girlfriend on the phone.  

Meg's boyfriend, Gavin Roberts, from Swindon, was killed in the crash.

Here Meg says she hopes to forgive him in time.

Watch: A34 fatal crash driver meets victim's girlfriend

You can watch the full interview on Inside Out South at 7.30pm tonight.

Three teenagers arrested in knifepoint robbery

Hartland Road

Three 17-year-old boys have been arrested after a knifepoint robbery and assault on two teenagers in Reading. 

The incident took place on 19 February at 12:15 in Whitley.

Two 16-year-old boys, who were in a group, were followed by another group of teenagers between Basingstoke Road to the junction of Hartland Road. 

One of the offenders produced a knife, and the offenders then stole a bag and assaulted one of the victims. 

A 17-year-old boy from Reading was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife and robbery. 

Two other 17-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection to the incident. 

A34 fatal crash driver meets victim's girlfriend

Moment killer driver meets victim's partner

A driver who killed a man in a head-on crash has told his victim's partner he lived "to pay for what I've done". 

Lewis Stratford met Meg Williamson ahead of his sentencing for the crash he caused during an argument with his girlfriend on the phone. 

Gavin Roberts, 28, died after Stratford's car crossed the central reservation on the A34, in Oxfordshire. At the meeting, which Ms Williamson set up, Stratford, 24, said he knew he had ruined lives.

Today's travel: Busy roads London-bound and in Reading

Matt Vaughan

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Good morning, here's what's happening on Berkshire's roads:

  • There's queuing traffic on the M4 London-bound between junction 10 Wokingham/Bracknell and junction 8/9 at Maidenhead.
  • The M3 London-bound is also looking busy between junction 4A Farnborough and junction 3 Lightwater.
  • In Reading there is slow traffic on the A4 Berkeley Avenue, busy roads on the A404 southbound between Marlow Junction and Bisham roundabout. 
  • Gusting winds could also affect some flights at London Heathrow airport. 

Today's weather: Thundery showers and very windy

It's an unsettled start to the week which will be thundery and feeling a little bit like winter. 

There will be scattered showers throughout the day and temperatures across the region will reach a high 8C. 

And the best live page award goes to...

Alex Regan

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to BBC Local live.

As bad as my sleep deprivation might be, at least I'm not Warren Beatty. 

Faye Dunway and Warren Beatty
Getty Images

If you missed it, the veteran Hollywood star awarded the Best Picture gong at the Oscars to the wrong film.

Hopefully I won't do the same thing this morning as I navigate the county's news in - what critics will likely describe as - "a daring and poignant reminder of the power of local live pages". 

As always you can expect the usual knee-slapping caper from 08:00 to 18:00 with nail-biting news to keep you on the edge of your seat.